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When you eat vegetables, it’s the world’s history that you swallow. In a single vegetable, one encounters great history and the memory of each of us: conquests, the spice route, the opening of sea passages, trade between empires, economics, diplomacy and politics mixed with stories of mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, kitchens and pantries full of flavours. Talking about vegetables therefore means going in search of a territory, of a culture, it means finding the traces of a history that creeps into the etymology of a word, the journey of a product from region to region, from country to country, from one symbolic sphere to another. Why do carrots make beautiful eyes and babies are born under cabbages? To go from a vegetable garden to a poem, from a painting to a market gardener, one of those ladies with a squeaky voice who pushed their carts through the streets singing the praises of their freshly harvested salads; from a song to a conquistador carrying new sprouts and condiments in the bulwarks of his caravel. It means travelling through space and time, from the collective to the more intimate sphere, it means crossing our tastes and our questions, experiences, curiosities. In the pod of a pea, in the seeds of a tomato, in the bitter bitterness of a thistle and an artichoke, in the leaves and stalks of a radish that we throw away without thinking there are treasures hidden.
Évelyne Bloch-Dano, La favolosa storia delle verdure
ADD Editore, 2017
Translated by Sara Prencipe
13,9 x 1,6 x 20,1 cm